Cleaning dance shoes


Yes, it can help stop them sticking together because they just slide off one another.

Actually my practice shoes are doing this a bit at the moment. *mental note to grease up practice shoes tonight*.


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Cool. Thanks. I don't have any patent leather dance shoes for that very reason. I'd heard that they're hard to break in. It's hard enough to dance well, without your shoes sticking together. :evil: :?
pygmalion said:
And I guess an alternative would be to take backup shoes. I can't see taking cleaning fluid to a comp. Too risky. I can just see cleaning fluid spilling all over my costumes. :x Backup shoes are heavier, but probably a safer alternative, if they're properly broken in.

Have you tried the neutral shoe polish, golddancer? I've used that in the past on a bunch of different color shoes, and it seems to work well.
I have but I found that there is a shoe creme that is a true tan color and it can be hard to the sense that it is not in your local multi-department store like walmart--have to go to cobbler.


Well-Known Member
MapleLeaf Salsero said:
Hmm... You girls are experts on these things.

Wow, I would have just bought new shoes... :wink:
Hehe! Shoes are a favorite topic of mine. :wink:

Thanks for the shoe polish tip, gold dancer. I'll check it out the next time I'm getting my practice shoes resoled.
pygmalion said:
Cool. Thanks. I don't have any patent leather dance shoes for that very reason. I'd heard that they're hard to break in. It's hard enough to dance well, without your shoes sticking together. :evil: :?
I know one cobbler who has spray dye for shoes and I think it also double for polish... its been a while since I've been to that cobbler.

I know that vas. jelly trick. A dance instructor who competes in Pro/Am uses that trick.
Back in the day I was an accomplished horsewoman and there is nothing better to clean leather than plain old saddle soap. Neatsfoot oil is the recommended oil for keeping leather plyable, and prevent cracking. Any western store, or even feedstore for that matter carries it, and it's cheap.

I don't know if I'm stating the obvious, but you can purchase these sponges now, that have a light clear polish already on them and they are AWESOME! They have them everywhere including Walmart, and you just open the container and rub it on your shoes for INSTANT shine and it covers scuffs pretty well too. I use it for all my leather shoes and purses as well. I don't know if the people on the dance competition circuit have discovered it, or not though.
MissAlyssa said:
hat and tennis shoe protectant work. I know the supadance catalog has those shoe sachets for sale, also try showtime shoes online, I think they have them as well.
What's tennis shoe protectant? I think I'll google it.

I'm asking because I just found white canvas Keds that I'm sueding for dancing. What do I do to clean them? Anyone been down this road? I know putting them in the washing machine will toast the soles. I can just see myself with the Woolite and a toothbrush.

Any help will be appreciated.

Thanks in advance.



Well-Known Member
pygmalion said:
Hi dancin_feet.

Just curious. How do you break in your patent leather dance shoes. I've heard some horror stories about them sticking together. Does vaseline fix that, too?
Yes, do put vaseline on the sides of the shoes which might rub together.* They also have a silicone spray which has the same effect.
Oh, yes, I know of a stick of the patents, without any slick stuff, and down he went, feet glued together, and his little partner, too!
(She was a "yout.") (kidding- I loved the little squirt. The big one, too.)

*Awkward phraseology, but inside/outside...? Didn't want to go there...
My feet must sweat a lot in dance sheos, because my shoes get, on the inside, pretty discolored and stinky. But my feet don't sweat in sandals or any other kind of shoe-- I don't get it! Anyway, I use shoe dogs, and they have been helping a little bit, but I was wondering if anyone knew of some magic things to do to slow down the destruction of my shoes.
Your feet is a lot more active during dancing as compared to normal walking. I have the same problem with sweaty feet, i just make sure to remove my shoes from my dance bag after a dance session and leave them to dry out / air out till the next dance opportunity. Don't think there is much else you can do. I have also tried foot spray.
I have problem with the soles - the suede type. How do I clean them?

A feew weeks ago they where ruined after one night dancing. They worked OK until they got wet (probably beer) and then they got worse for every dance. I guess it was some floor protection/cleaning stuff that got stucked to the soles. Usually beer/wine/soft drinks don't have this effect on the soles.

At the end of the night my ordinary walkingshoes (with rubber soles
:shock: ) was better to wear when dancing.

I have tried to brush them up with a shoe brush made of steel. But it is not enough. Any advice?



Well-Known Member
The shoebrushes sold by the ballroom shoe manufacturers are the best by far! Brush thoroughly. You'd be amazed, you can even bring back nearly dead suede soles back to life with a good brushing.

I've seen so many students try to save $10 by getting a suede brush elsewhere, and they don't work!! Regular suede brushes are for the tops of suede shoes.

If not, get new shoes or new soles. You can buy the proper suede from ballroom shoe dealers, and glue it on yourself with Barge glue, or have it done at a shoe shop.
Hey guys, I read this thread when I got my first competition-worthy dancing heels so I was a good girl and I scotchgaurded them. I've got my first comp with a partner tomorrow and the shoes are looking a bit worse for wear.. how do I clean them? Can I just use a damp cloth or something?
BTW, I need an answer ASAP! Thanks!


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Staff member
first of all don't won't be the degree to which the shoes were clean that makes all the diff..a slightly damp sponge might help...but don't worry about it
Okay all you professionals might scream when I say this but.....

I use a wire brush to clean the soles (think if there is anything sticky on the floor once you have this on the soles you are like a magnet for all the other dirt) this is great but when my tan satin shoes got to the point of just looking totally grubby, to the point they were getting embarrasing to wear, I decided I had nothing to lose and dumped them in a bowl of cool water with washing liquid. Used a microfibre cloth to rub them clean and then thought as the soles were also getting wet would attack them too. Gave the footbed a clean - re sweaty feet. Then just rinsed and left them to dry out.

Result is shoes and soles that look like new :)
I have a pair of older shoes that I use for night outs that are separate from my normal practice/comp shoes. The older shoes got really nasty after being out at a club (beer and grim). I wear birkenstocks a lot so I have suede cleaner for them. I used the birkenstock suede cleaner kit on the soles. They came out looking brand new. I had to use my suede brush just a little with the solution to loosen the grim but when all was said and done the soles looked great!

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